Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Rakhi Festival (My favorite Hindu festival)

(Husband-ji's sisters)

Rakhi is one of the few festivals that I have experienced in India (somehow we always end up going when there are no festivals on!) Almost all of huband-ji's little sisters were in town so we were able to celebrate it at as whole family.

There is nothing like celebrating a festival in India itself. Watching the customs, and the specific order of traditions is very illuminating. Immediate family members, extended family members and neighbours often celebrate along with us, and it makes it the more the merrier.

In India, cousins are also seen as sisters. It is typical for an Indian man to refer to his girl cousins as his sisters as well. The festival can also be celebrated by brothers-in-law's/sister-in-law's.

(Brother & sister)

Rakhi is a Hindu holiday which is celebrated through the whole of India. It is a festival to celebrate the special bond between brothers and sisters. It comes every year in mid-August.

(Tying the thread)

Rakhi is the sacred thread that sisters tie on their brothers' wrists, and take his blessings for him to always protect them. Raksha Bandhan literally translates as "bond of protection". For the sister, the thread symbolizes her love and wishes for her brother's long life; and for the brother, the thread symbolizes his protection for her safety and well-being. It is an occasion that not only celebrates the tender bond  in a sibling relationship, but also a familial duty/obligation to look after each other, no matter what. The deeper message is that we need to think of others, and send love to others.

(Sweets / offerings)

In our family, sisters tie the thread on the brother, then they bow a few times (2 or 4 times to be specific), then the brother blesses them by giving them a small gift, and then the sister will feed sweets to the brother, and she will eat some sweets for herself too.

(Youngest sister Bhavya taking blessings)

I loved celebrating Rakhi and watching husband-ji with his sisters. They look up to him and respect him so much for guidance, and I think me joining in the celebrations with them made us all feel closer. It was especially nice for me because I am an only child, and I love to see the tender bond between husband-ji and his sisters.

I think it is a lovely festival and it should be celebrated worldwide - not just by observing Hindu's.

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4 comments

  1. Good post. Thanks for the correct description. It is a celebration of sisters love and brothers promise. My post is still under construction. I am following Indian Standard time. lol. Hopefully it will be up by tomorrow.
    -R

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    Replies
    1. I really loved it, because I'm an only child. It was a very tender-hearted festival.

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  2. Thank you so much for writing about this festival. It is my favourite festival too :)

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  3. Sorry but I have to disagree a bit here. Why do we need males to protect us? I'm all for celebrating sibling relationships so my family and I wish everyone on this day, including sisters wishing sisters because hell we're there for each other through a lot more than our brothers can handle (hello PMS!) lol

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